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The secret's out: the Internet officially crowned the best blush, and psst, it's more than just a blush.
It all started when singer Madison Beer revealed the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand as her key to cherub cheeks in a makeup tutorial that quickly made its rounds on TikTok and perpetually sold it out. Offering a dreamy, lifted glow, the blush-highlighter hybrid nixes extra steps — it's also Hollywood's favorite makeup trick. "We use [it] on every red carpet to capture the light and make the stars look glowing and gorgeous," according to the namesake's niece and celebrity makeup artist Sofia Tilbury.
Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Highlighter Wand
While many of the Good Housekeeping Institute's team of beauty analysts and product testing experts already use and love the popular blush (it's one of our top products of 2022!), we dived deeper into the trending Charlotte Tilbury blush highlighter by trying it out on different skin tones and types, from dry to sensitive to combination. Here's what we found:
Is the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand a highlighter or a blush?
That depends on the shade! Tilbury considers shades Spotlight, a candlelit gold, and Goldgasm, a true gold, as highlighters that you can "use on your cheekbones, brow bone, nose, inner corners of the eyes and Cupid’s bow for an illuminating effect loved by stars like Sofia Vergara, Kate Moss and Phoebe Dynevor." For a rosy flush of color, Pinkgasm, Peachgasm, Pillow Talk and Pillow Talk Medium are infused with nude-pink to peachy-pink hues that add a pigmented glow to your cheeks.
How do you use the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Wand?
The creamy formula comes housed in a squeezy tube with a sponge applicator, making it easy to dot on and blend for a satin sheen. "Apply directly from the tube in a C-shape along the cheekbone and toward your brow, then blend in a tapping motion with your fingers to instantly enhance your facial framework," Tilbury says.
What color Beauty Light Wand is best?
From left to right, shades Pillow Talk, Pillow Talk Medium, Spotlight, Goldgasm, Peachgasm, Pinkgasm
An editor and celeb favorite, the popular Pinkgasm shade is a buildable, pearlescent pink that works for virtually every complexion, adding a healthy-looking blush that bounces the light. You can use whichever color most appeals to you, of course, but as for which formula may suit your complexion best, follow Tilbury's suggestions:
- For fair skin tones, you may find a good match with Spotlight and Pillow Talk.
- For medium skin tones, Pillow Talk Medium and Peachgasm give a lifted-looking glow.
- For deep skin tones, Goldgasm looks incredible to "bathe the skin in gold," according to Tilbury.
Our honest reviews
Here's how the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand worked for our in-house testing pros:
'Pinkgasm' on dry, sensitive skin
- Consistency and coverage: "I really appreciate that it gives the perfect amount of color and luminosity in one foolproof step — it effectively eliminated an entire step in my makeup routine."
- Compatibility with skin type and tone: "I have reactive, eczema-prone skin, and it has never caused sensitivity or a reaction. It adds a dewy-looking glow that gives my otherwise dry skin a healthy sheen ... The color is absolutely perfect on my light/medium olive-toned skin."
- The bottom line: "This product is a must-have for me, no questions asked. I love that while it's glowy, there's no discernible sparkle or glitter. I do find the packaging and twist/squeeze mechanism a bit cumbersome and slippery though — I wish there was a simpler, mess-free twist-and-click outside the tube instead, like an old-school lipgloss." —Jessica Teich, Deputy Editor
'Pinkgasm Medium' on combination skin
- Consistency and coverage: "I used it on my nose and the high points of my cheeks. The pigment lasted throughout the day. I didn't re-apply ... But I did think that it was easier to apply on top of the foundation with my finger [as] opposed to the applicator or a brush."
- Compatibility with skin type and tone: "I typically get oily in my t-zone — the formula felt smooth and dried down quickly. It wasn't sticky or anything."
- The bottom line: "I liked that you could open and close the tube with the on-and-off feature so that you don't accidentally waste extra product ... But I was a little disappointed with this color. It only showed up as a subtle glow and did not really give off a copper or golden color like I expected." —Cameron Jenkins, Staff Writer
'Goldgasm' on dry, sensitive skin
- Consistency and coverage: "Just as dewy as it looks, the beauty wand's formula feels nice and creamy on skin. A little bit goes a long way as I only needed two dots to see a glimmer finish. While it's easy to blend in with fingers, I found a more seamless blend by using a damp beauty sponge. I noticed that it offered long wear, seeming to melt onto my skin more throughout the day for a natural-looking glow."
- Compatibility with skin type and tone: "The sheer gold color matched well with my neutral skin undertone. Luckily, the pigment didn't cling to any dry eczema patches on my face, either."
- The bottom line: "The shade Goldgasm offers such a gorgeous illuminating effect, though I get a bit more use out of the truer blush-like shades like Pinkgasm." —Jacqueline Saguin, Associate Product & Reviews Editor
'Spotlight' on dry, textured skin
- Consistency and coverage: "I applied it to my cheekbones, the bridge and tip of my nose and above the arches of my brows. After dabbing the product on with the sponge, it was easy to blend it out with my fingers."
- Compatibility with skin type and tone: "I found the light gold shade to be flattering on me. It doesn’t look too warm on pale skin, and it actually has a silvery finish. It gives an even sheen to the skin without any sparkly flecks — very glamorous! As with any highlighter, it does emphasize my skin texture."
- The bottom line: "I enjoyed using the Beauty Light Wand to add a bit of glow to the high points of my face. The sponge applicator makes it fast and easy to apply without any other tools." —Chiara Butler, Health & Beauty Reviews Analyst
Is the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand worth it?
One thing's for certain: the Charlotte Tilbury cream blush offers beautiful glowy results. The marriage of blush and highlighter makes for a happy matrimony of buildable shimmer and long-lasting pigment. The trick is finding one that best suits your skin tone. If you prefer matte looks, you'll probably want to skip this product.
One drawback: While we found the actual application pretty foolproof, keep in mind that the packaging gets a bit messy at times when twisting product out. But when it comes down to more pared-down makeup days, there's really no question as to what product is your best companion.
Associate Product & Reviews Editor
Jacqueline (she/her) covers all things e-commerce in beauty, lifestyle and beyond for the Good Housekeeping Institute. Before joining GH in 2021, she was a style and beauty reviews fellow at Insider, testing viral trends, reviewing sustainable brands and more. She's a graduate of the University of Florida's School of Journalism, with a specialty in magazines and mass communication.
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